STRUCTURE: GPs in Barnsley have agreed “joint working arrangements” for the commissioning transition involving two aspirant GP groups.

Within the PCT there is one larger GP group and a small group of practices, which are not all neighbouring. They have so far not been given “pathfinder” status, which has been linked to their organisational form.

Minutes show that at a meeting in May a “way forward” was agreed by Andy Buck, the PCT cluster chief executive, and both the commissioning groups - Barnsley Commissioning Consortium and Barnsley People’s First Consortium. It agreed terms for the PCT’s single GP Commissioning Transition Group, which includes both emering groups.

Minutes state: “The group would work to explore the scope for a fresh start to the development of GP Commissioning through effective governance arrangements… The group would take responsibility for the operational management of commissioning in 2011-12 and for the implementation of the single integrated plan, including the NHS Barnsley QIPP programme; chairmanship of the group should be on a joint basis between [the leads of both GP group]…

“Early steps would be taken to reopen dialogue with the strategic health authority to secure pathfinder status, either as a single joint application covering both consortia or two separate but clearly linked applications. This would be on the clear understanding that the acquisition of pathfinder status would not constitute a commitment to the current organisational form of the consortia.”